Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Amy Dowden faced the “hardest step” of her breast cancer battle.
The pro-dancer, 33, shared a heartbreaking video on her Instagram account of the moment she shaved her hair off. In the emotional clip Amy Dowden was surrounded by friends and family as they helped cut pieces of her hair off and described how she was taking back control and was "the hardest step so far".
In June 2023 the Strictly dancer announced that she had undergone a mastectomy after being diagnosed with type three breast cancer. A month later she revealed that doctors had found another type of cancer and would not be able to return to the show this year.
The Welsh professional has since been documenting her journey online in the hope it will encourage others to check themselves.
Countryfile presenter and Strictly finalist (2022) Helen Skelton re-shared Amy’s video onto her Instagram stories and wrote “Respect for taking control of this chapter. Sending love. Hope Daddy Dowden isn't still hoarding Hello mags.”
Amy Dowden joined BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 when she was partnered with comedian Brian Conley. The pair were eliminated from the show in week five. Amy has also been partnered with Busted singer Tom Fletcher and EastEnders actor James Bye.
Celebrity friends have been showing their support for Amy Dowden. On the launch night for the new series, Strictly presenter Tess Daly paused the show to pay an emotional tribute.
Tess Daly said: “We are of course missing one of our professional dancers, our gorgeous Amy Dowden is unwell, and she can't be with us for the start of the series. She's our Welsh dragon and we know she'll be back soon."
Co-host Claudia Winkelman added: “From your entire Strictly family, we're sending you all our love and we cannot wait to have you back on the dancefloor.”
Strictly co-star Katya Jones revealed the practice she always dedicates to Amy Dowden. The Mirror reported "At the start of my yoga class, [we’re told to] dedicate the practice to someone or to something, every time now I'm dedicated to Amy.”
Amy Dowden and Kaya Jones have been close friends for many years and was a guest at Amy’s wedding to Ben Jones.
Who is Amy Dowden’s husband Ben Jones?
Amy Dowden married professional dancer Ben Jones in 2022. Ben is a British dance champion and together they own the Art In Motion (AIM) Dance Academy in the West Midlands.
The couple started dating in 2011 after meeting through their work as dancers. They reportedly kept their relationship quiet for six years over fear of their dance teacher's reaction.
When they did announce they were a couple Ben reportedly proposed on the dancefloor at a New Year's eve party in 2017. Their wedding was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the couple finally made it down the aisle in July 2022.
Photos of their special day were captured by Hello Magazine and a star studded guest list including Strictly Come Dancing pals Katya Jones, Dianne Buswell and Janette Manrara.